Gaviglio's huge game powers the Pilots

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Whether coming up with a base hit or pitching the Ashland Pilots out of a jam, Sam Gaviglio and teammates could do no wrong on Monday night.

Gaviglio went 6-for-6 and allowed only two hits in six innings of work as Ashland advanced to the semifinals of the American Legion A Northwest Regional Tournament with an 11-0 rout of the previously unbeaten Utah Box Elder Bees at Mulcahy Field.

"I just sat back there and watched (Gaviglio) play the best game he'd ever played," said Pilots manager Dave Sebrell. "It was absolutely amazing."

The Pilots (29-11, 3-1 tournament) will square off against Idaho today at noon in the semifinals. The winner takes on Utah, which earned a bye into today's championship at 4 p.m. by winning its first three games.

"It's gonna take a lot," said Sebrell of today's semifinal game. "We're gonna have to come right back and keep the bats hot. We've gotta keep hitting and keep our pitching going because (Idaho) can really hit."

Monday's game looked to be a pitchers' duel between Gaviglio and Utah's Jason Saunders, but Ian Kendall's bases-clearing triple in the top of the fourth inning quickly changed that, giving the Pilots a 3-0 lead.

"Kendall, I'm really proud of him," said Sebrell. "He saw a pitch and he nailed it. I've got to give him credit for putting two bad at-bats behind him. The bases were loaded and there was a lot of pressure."

The Pilots loaded the bases in the following inning and took advantage when Max Gordon and Hayden Miller each forced in runs with walks.

Kendall blasted his second triple in the top of the eighth and later scored on a single by Garrett Tygerson.

After Owen Baldrica's RBI double, Gaviglio capped the performance by driving in the final run to give the Pilots an 11-0 cushion.

Kendall drove in four runs, and Tygerson went 4-for-6 for Ashland, which had 16 hits.

Pilots reliever Tyler Killeen allowed just three hits and struck out three in three innings.

Ashland Pilots 000 430 013 — 11 16 1

Utah Box Elder Bees 000 000 000 — 0 5 2

Gaviglio, Killeen (7) and L. Sebrell; Saunders, Webb (6), Leishman (9) and McArthur. W — Gaviglio (10-3). L — Saunders. 2B — A: Gaviglio.

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